10 things you didn't know about the Rev. Dan Morales

The Rev. Dan Morales, a priest at Holy Family Catholic Church, has been in the ministry for 24 years. His hobbies include knitting and scuba diving.

The Rev. Dan Morales, wearing a traditional black and white collar and charcoal jacket, appears at first glance as any other Catholic priest.

But upon peeling back the layers, Morales, 49, of Holy Family Church, reveals layers of unique hobbies and ambitions that set him apart from others in the Crossroads.

The Advocate sat down with Morales for an interview and uncovered several fascinating characteristics.

Here are 10 things you didn't know about Morales.

1. Morales reads books more than he watches TV or goes to the movies. He reads mostly on his e-reader, on which he admits to reading both fiction and nonfiction secular and sacred content. When he does watch TV, he opts for "The Walking Dead," "Downton Abbey" and "Sherlock."

2. Morales is living with sarcoma - a type of cancer. His cancer is currently not in remission, and he'll be returning to Houston this month to remove seven new tumors. His cancer, he said, has a tendency to come back, but he is not afraid his life will be cut short, and when it is time for him to die, he said he does not fear dying and going to live with the Lord in heaven.

3. Morales was kicked out of seminary during his third year of college at the University of Houston. He spent a year working as a bartender in Friendswood before his bishop and vocation director enrolled him back in seminary. "They thought I needed to get back on the horse," he said.

4. Morales comes from a large family. He has 101 first cousins and about 400 total family members.

5. Morales enjoys knitting. He said it is better and cheaper than counseling.

6. Morales is an avid scuba diver and has been on more than 100 dives all over the world, including Panama, Belize, Mexico, and the Bay Islands of Honduras. He has never been diving in the United States.

7. He is world traveled, and fluent in Spanish. He's visited such countries as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Israel, Venezuela, Switzerland, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, among others.

8. Morales has a favorite place, Las Obras de Santo Hermano Pedro, an orphanage in Guatemala where he visits annually to serve. Though his family is of Mexican decent, he learned to speak Spanish in his 30s while attending seminary.

9. Morales plays guitar, but only plays when he's forced. He also enjoys singing, but admits he doesn't have a terrific voice. His two favorite songs, are Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" and Lily Kershaw's "As It Seems."

10. Morales has been serving in the priesthood for 25 years, or half his life. He will be 50 years old on June 17.